Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is Webcomics, 1: Book 'em, Danno

Ah, my oft-neglected blog. I remember you! You're about webcomics.

Obviously, TWIW hasn't seen a lot of recent activity. Apart from my work on my new webcomic Sketch Comedy (GO VISIT MY WEBCOMIC), there's the usual business of the holidays that keeps us all crazy. I don't expect I have to sell you on the concept, but in my opinion, there's no better time of year to buy merch from your favorite webcomic creators. By shopping online, you can dodge the psychotic traffic, the hunt for a parking place and crowds at the malls, and you can introduce your friends and loved ones to the great strips you enjoy online.

So, with that in mind, I present to you part one of a three-part special feature: All I Want for Christmas is Webcomics, the This Week in Webcomics holiday shopping guide.

As always, we at TWIW are nothing if not biased. Everything on this list has passed the rigorous quality screening of being either something I have bought or want to buy. And I have been anticipating the release of the first item on the list for quite some time...

That's right, it's the F Chords print collection.

Long-time readers of TWIW know I'm an outspoken F Chords fan. Ash and Wade are two studio musicians, recording radio-ad music by day and struggling to get their rock band off the ground by night (that is, when they're not playing World of Warcraft or watching Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). As dudes trying to keep a dream alive and banging their heads against the wall just to keep it from dying, the lead duo are eminently relatable, not to mention hilarious. While rereading the strips in this 60-page collection, it felt like I was catching up with Ash and Wade at the bar, sharing a laugh about all the crap they'd been through. The Hook Arc is particularly hilarious.

You're At A Nine, We Need You at a Zero makes a great gift for the struggling musician in your life, or heck, just about any artist trying to pay the bills doing what he loves. But don't bother buying one for me. I've got my own copy, suckas! You're At A Nine... is available at Kris Straub's online store for $12.99, plus shipping (see above link).

I'm a huge fan of F Chords. But, as you know, I'm also a huge fan of Blank It, which also launched its first print collection this year. Shirt...Goes...Down captures the first two years of existentialism, absurdity, and hand juice. Given that I've reviewed the comic, interviewed the creators (in comic form!), and basically ran my trap about it at every opportunity, you hardly need a reminder why Blank It is awesome. Get Shirt...Goes...Down for anyone on your list who wishes Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was a little more like the anime Fooly Cooly. Geez, that's a really narrow audience. Get it for anyone who enjoys extremely clever nonsense, witty repartee, and free-wheeling adventure. It's available in the Blank It store for $25 plus shipping.

Last on the book list is Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show. As a supporter of Multiplex's print collection project through Kickstarter, I received my copy around two months ago, and I'm really impressed with the final product. McAlpin has put together a quality book (no surprise, given that he's a career graphic designer), and he hasn't skimped on the bonus material either: over 30 additional comics, behind-the-scenes extras, and an exclusive 12-page prequel storyline. The whole package looks great. It's worth warning that the average Multiplex strip hovers somewhere between a PG-13 and an R rating, so this isn't a gift for your 10-year-old nephew by any means. However, it's unmistakably a quality present for anyone who's out of high school and really, really, really loves movies.

You can get your hands on Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show for $19.95, or $24.95 for the Artist's Edition, at (where else?) the Multiplex Store.

And that wraps up part one of this extremely special holiday feature. Stay tuned for part two, shirts and apparel, sometime next week (or maybe earlier if I get the chance!), and if you know of any webcomic print collections that you think would make a sweet gift, drop a link in the comments.

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